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An underground bunker that would have become the regional seat of government in the South West had the Soviets nuked Britain in the 1950s is expected to fetch £400,000 at auction.

The Hope Cove Bunker, near Salcombe in Devon, was originally built as a World War II radar station in 1941 before being redeveloped in 1952 as Britain faced a new threat from the Soviet Union in the Cold War.

It was refurbished as part of the ROTOR programme, an elaborate air defence system which enabled the UK to detect possible nuclear attacks, and became a radar station designed for the interception of Soviet aircraft heading over the coast of South Devon.

The impressive bunker, which features a floor that is entirely below ground, will be auctioned on February 10 with a freehold guide price of £400,000.

The property is nestled in more than four acres of stunning countryside close to the coastal town of Salcombe and the airfield RAF Bolt Head. 

The Hope Cove Bunker, near Salcombe in Devon, was originally built as a World War II radar station in 1941 before being redeveloped in 1952 as Britain faced a new threat from the Soviet Union in the Cold War. Pictured: Hope Cove

It was refurbished as part of the ROTOR programme, an elaborate air defence system which enabled the UK to detect possible nuclear attacks, and became a radar station designed for the interception of Soviet aircraft heading over the coast of South Devon

It was refurbished as part of the ROTOR programme, an elaborate air defence system which enabled the UK to detect possible nuclear attacks, and became a radar station designed for the interception of Soviet aircraft heading over the coast of South Devon

It boasts a floor above ground, with another hidden beneath the ground with clinical corridors and concrete walls.

The bunker, which spans 33,000 square feet underground, has around 60 rooms on two levels. 

Chris Howell, who looks after RAF Hope Cove, told Devon Live: ‘It’s semi submerged which means the lower level is underground. 

‘The bunker went into “care and maintenance” until 1949 when the Russians nuclear threat became apparent.’

Hope Cove was originally active between 1941 and 1945, working to assist the nearby RAF Bolt Head in tracking and intercepting hostile aircraft as they passed over South Devon overnight.    

The impressive bunker, which features a floor that is entirely below ground, will be auctioned on February 10 with a freehold guide price of £400,000. Pictured: Inside the bunker

The impressive bunker, which features a floor that is entirely below ground, will be auctioned on February 10 with a freehold guide price of £400,000. Pictured: Inside the bunker

It boasts a floor above ground, with another hidden beneath the ground with clinical corridors and concrete walls

It boasts a floor above ground, with another hidden beneath the ground with clinical corridors and concrete walls 

Pictured: Inside the bunker

Pictured: Inside the bunker

The bunker, which spans 33,000 square feet underground, has around 60 rooms on two levels. Pictured: Inside the bunker

The property is nestled in more than four acres of stunning countryside close to the coastal town of Salcombe and the airfield RAF Bolt Head. Pictured: Hope Cove

The property is nestled in more than four acres of stunning countryside close to the coastal town of Salcombe and the airfield RAF Bolt Head. Pictured: Hope Cove

It then went into ‘care and maintenance’ before it was upgraded under the ROTOR programme in 1952.

The station, which became a Sub-Regional Control, Sub-Regional Headquarters and Regional Government Headquarters, still features its two-storey R6 operations block and a Type 80 radar modulator building.

It previously had a guardhouse which was designed to look like a bungalow.  

Hope Cove was active again from 1954 and 1958, when it was taken over by the Home Office and turned into a Regional Seat of Government named Gull Perch. 

Katie Semmens of Emson said: ‘This is an exciting opportunity to acquire this historic property.

The station, which became a Sub-Regional Control, Sub-Regional Headquarters and Regional Government Headquarters, still features its two-storey R6 operations block and a Type 80 radar modulator building

The station, which became a Sub-Regional Control, Sub-Regional Headquarters and Regional Government Headquarters, still features its two-storey R6 operations block and a Type 80 radar modulator building

Hope Cove was active again from 1954 and 1958, when it was taken over by the Home Office and turned into a Regional Seat of Government named Gull Perch

Hope Cove was active again from 1954 and 1958, when it was taken over by the Home Office and turned into a Regional Seat of Government named Gull Perch

‘It’s known for its role in the Cold War when it formed part of the ROTOR programme, which was a huge and elaborate air defence radar system to enable the UK to detect potential attacks from Soviet bombers.

‘With its location in beautiful countryside close to Salcombe it offers potential for a number of uses, all subject to the necessary consents.’

The site will be auctioned by Clive Emson and Vickery Holman Property Consultants of Exeter on February 10, with the sale taking place online. 

The site will be auctioned by Clive Emson and Vickery Holman Property Consultants of Exeter. on February 10, with the event taking place online

The site will be auctioned by Clive Emson and Vickery Holman Property Consultants of Exeter. on February 10, with the event taking place online


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